Reading Comprehension Quiz

[A new interlinear poem will be available each Monday: Weekly Interlinear Poem .]

Use the dictionary, the acronym finder, and the word origins dictionary (links above) as needed. A new quiz is available each Monday through Thursday. This is the quiz for February 10.

Selection from Henry David Thoreau's essay Walking

I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of walking, that is, of taking walks, who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering, which word is beautifully derived from idle people who roved about the country in the Middle Ages and asked charity under pretence of going à la sainte terre — to the Holy Land, till the children exclaimed, "There goes a sainte-terrer," a saunterer — a Holy-Lander. They who never go to the Holy Land in their walks, as they pretend, [the sainte-terrers who pretend to go to the Holy Land but don't really go] are indeed mere idlers and vagabonds, but they [the sainte-terrers] who do go there are saunterers in the good sense, such as I mean. Some, however, would derive the word from sans terre, without land or a home, which, therefore, in the good sense, will mean, having no particular home but equally at home everywhere. For this is the secret of successful sauntering. He who sits still in a house all the time may be the greatest vagrant of all, but the saunterer, in the good sense, is no more vagrant than the meandering river, which is all the while sedulously seeking the shortest course to the sea. But I prefer the first, which indeed is the most probable derivation. For every walk is a sort of crusade, preached by some Peter the Hermit in us, to go forth and reconquer this Holy Land from the hands of the infidels.

1. The saunterer in the good sense is
A. a vagrant.
B. a vagabond.
C. an idler.
D. a crusader.
2. Peter the Hermit was
A. a key figure during the First Crusade.
B. a saint who spent his entire life in the woods.
C. a resident of the Holy Land.
D. a figure in the Vatican.
3. The Latin origin of sedulous (as in sedulously) meant
A. lame.
B. without deception.
C. impatient.
D. foolish.
4. The Greek origin of meander (as in meandering) was
A. a poet.
B. a philosopher.
C. the name of a river.
D. a Greek god.

Write down your answers and then see Answer Key below.

Answer Key: 1-D..........2-A..........3-B..........4-C
Corrections? Questions? Comments? E-mail Robert Jackson at